Grady County, Oklahoma


Reford Bond

Probably the oldest line of lawyers in the State of Oklahoma is the Bond & Melton combination at Chickasha. The two principal members of the firm of Bond, Melton & Melton have been continuously associated in handling a large and important practice at that city since 1900-fifteen years. Reford Bond, though long identified with the law and ranking as one of the big lawyers of Oklahoma, is still a young man, and is one of the native sons of the Chickasaw Nation. His father has been identified with that section of Oklahoma for half a century or more.

Reford Bond was born in the Chickasaw Nation August 10, 1877, his birthplace being Johnsonville, McLain County. His parents are James H. and Adelaide (Johnson) Bond, both of whom are still living at advanced years on the old farm near Minco, Grady County. James U. Bond was born in Somersetshire, England, January 1, 1841. When a young man he went to Chicago, Illinois, with other members of the family, lived in that city until the outbreak of the war between the states, and a few years later reached the Chickasaw Nation of old Indian Territory. He became identified with the stock business and at Johnsonville married Mrs. Adelaide Campbell. Her father was a noted character in the Chickasaw Nation in early days. "Boggy Johnson," who was an Englishman from London, 87hymimmigrated to America, after a few years located in Mississippi, and there married a Chickasaw woman, and eventually established his home and became a large rancher in Indian Territory. After many years in the territory, Boggy Johnson finally returned to New York, and was a wholesale merchant in that city until his death.

His daughter Adelaide first married a Mr. Campbell and her son by that union, C. B. Campbell, has for a number of years had a conspicuous position in business and banking affairs in Grady County. James H. Bond has had large ranching and farming interests on Boggy Creek for the past forty years, and he and his wife control extensive interests in that section. Mrs. James H. Bond was born December 25, 1841. Her children by the second marriage are Reford and Edwin B., the latter a resident of Minco.

Reford Bond as a boy had every stimulus to activity in the various interests and pursuits of his father's ranch. He is one of the boat educated lawyers in Oklahoma. His early training at home was supplemented by attendance at the Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, Missouri, followed by collegiate work in the Roanoke College at Salem, Virginia, and later study in the Columbian University at Washington, D. C. Mr. Bond took most of his law courses in the University of Missouri, where he was graduated LL. B. in 1897. Upon examination before Judge Townsend at Ardmore, he was admitted to the bar of Oklahoma and at once located in Chickasha for practice. He was first associated with the firm of Herbert & Holding under the name Herbert, Holding & Bond, but in 1900 became senior partner of Bond & Melton, a relationship which has been unbroken for fifteen years, the only change being the addition of Mr. Melton's brother. The presence of Mr. Bond as one of the counsel in a case always attracts attention, and in the course of his career he has probably handled as much important litigation as any lawyer in Grady County.

As a man of the people, a native son, and identified from youth with the old Chickasaw Nation, Mr. Bond has been a power in public life. He was one of the leaders in the single statehood movement, for a number of years was a member of the Territorial Executive Democratic Committee and the Single Statehood Convention chose him committeeman at large for both territories. With the success of the statehood movement, in 1907, he became one of the five candidates for the congressional nomination in the Fifth District. It was one of the most exciting political conventions of that year, and there ensued a deadlock, with Mr. Bond as one of the leaders, and it was only broken when he threw the influence of his personal following to Scott Ferris, who was nominated and subsequently elected. In 1914 Cato Sells, commissioner of Indian affairs, appointed Mr. Bond attorney for the Chickasaw Nation, and he is now giving much of his professional attention to the duties of that position. Mr. Bond is a member of the Chickasha Commercial Club, and fraternally belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Masonic fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and also a Knight Templar and has attended the Grand Lodge of Elks as an Oklahoma delegate.

On November 5, 1902, Mr. Bond married Miss Jane Ware. Her father, J. A. Ware, of Sedalia, Missouri, was one of the contractors who built the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad through the Indian Territory. To their union has been born one son, Reford Bond, Jr.

Mr. Bond and family reside at 128 South Twelfth Street in Chickasha, and the offices of his firm are in the First National Bank Building.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma - Joseph B. Thoburn - Submitted by Dale Donlon)

William F. Ramey

Superintendent William P. Ramey, who is the efficient and popular head of the city school system of Chickasha, Grady County, Oklahoma, is consistently designated one of the representative figures in educational affairs in Oklahoma and is known alike for his high scholastic attainments and for his special ability as an executive. He has had long and varied pedagogical experience and has held his present official position since the spring of 1908. His effective labors and progressive policies have inured greatly to the general advancement of the public schools of Chickasha in giving to them a standard that is not excelled by that of any other city in the state.

Mr. Ramey claims the historic "Old Dominion" commonwealth as the place of his nativity and is of a family found there in an early day. He was born in Scott county, Virginia, on the 24th day of June, 1857, and in the same state were born his parents.

Mr. Ramey acquired his early education in the common schools and certain academic institutions in his native state. In pursuance of his higher academic studies he was matriculated in East Tennessee Wesleyan University, Athens, an institution that now constitutes the University of Chattanooga. Here he was graduated as a member of the class of 1881 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and through effective post graduate work received from his Alma Mater the degree of Master of Arts in 1883.

Immediately after his graduation Mr. Ramey began his successful career as a teacher and continued to work in the public schools of his native state, with the exception of three years' service in the city schools of El Dorado, Kansas, 1885-8, until 1893 when he removed to Carlisle, Kentucky, where he continued the able and valued superintendent of the city schools for the period of thirteen years. In 1906 he became Professor of History and Superintendent of the Young Ladies' Boarding Department at Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky. After remaining in tenure of these positions one year he passed a year in travel and recreation on the Pacific Coast.

On the 25th of May, 1908, Mr. Ramey was elected superintendent of the city schools of Chickasha, Oklahoma, where for the past eight years his administration has been attended with commendable success. At the time when he assumed his present office Mr. Ramey found Chickasha provided with no adequate high school building. He promptly put forth vigorous efforts in the molding of public sentiment to the end of making provisions for a suitable building commensurate with the demands of the community, though the city had already come to the realization of the necessity of a modern high school building. In 1909 the present attractive and commodious building was completed.

Upon completion, Superintendent Ramey devolved the work of formulating and perfecting the present admirable system of the high school of Chickasha, besides which he effected a very thorough and well-ordered reorganization of the work of the various grade departments, with the result that the Chickasha Schools now take high rank and are known for their splendid efficiency.

The local high school has affiliation with the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, an organization including the Northern and Central States of the union. Under the zealous regime of Mr. Ramey the high school has developed along vocational as well as academic lines. In amplification of its regular courses there are established departments of manual training, domestic science, domestic art, normal training, athletics, and a commercial curriculum.

Mr. Ramey is an active and valued member of the Oklahoma Educational Association of which he is vice-president for the electoral year of 1914-15, besides being chairman of its publicity committee. He is actively identified also with the Southern Educational Association and the National Educational Association, in which latter he served in 1912-13 as the Director for the State of Oklahoma. He has been an influential figure in educational work practically the entire period since Oklahoma has been enjoying statehood, and during the summer vacation periods his services have been much in demand in normal institute work in this state as well as in Kentucky and Virginia. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic Party, in the faith of which he was reared, his father having been one of its staunch supporters, and having been a valiant soldier of the Confederacy during the entire period of the Civil War.

In the year 1882 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ramey to Miss Ella Hickox, who was born and reared near Athens, in the State of Tennessee, where she received a liberal education. Mr. and Mrs. Ramey are active members of the Baptist Church in their home city. They have three sons all of whom are honoring the name which they bear. Emerson E. was graduated in the University of Kentucky, with the degree of Bachelor of Mechanics, and is now employed as an expert in the executive department of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with headquarters at Baltimore, Md. Horace P. was graduated in the great University of Michigan with the degree of Civil Engineer and is now a licensed structural engineer, holding a responsible position with the Sanitary District of the City of Chicago. Carey F. was graduated in Georgetown College, Kentucky, with A. B. degree, and later took a special post-graduate course in chemistry and allied subjects in the University of California. He is now employed as a chemist in the service of the Standard Oil Company in their refinery at Richmond, California. (A Standard History of Oklahoma - Joseph B. Thoburn - Submitted by Dale Donlon)

Will Linn

Hon. Will Linn. On the roster of Oklahoma's able jurists is found the name of Hon. Will Linn, judge of the Fifteenth Judicial District Court, who has gained distinctive preferment in the legal profession, both at the bar and on the bench. Judge Linn was born at Linn Grove (named in honor of his father), Calloway County, Kentucky, in 1873, and is a son of Lilburn Cyrus and Louisa (Thornton) Linn. The Linn family was founded in Kentucky toward the close of the eighteenth century by emigrants from Ireland, where the name originated. Lilburn Cyrus Linn was born in Kentucky and was there educated for the law, in which he was engaged throughout his career. He won a position of prominence in his calling, and was elected judge of the Third Judicial District of Kentucky, an office in which he served for a number of years. During the Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate army, and subsequently participated in a number of hard-fought engagements, including the battle of Shiloh, in which he received a severe wound. He is now living retired from active life at Chickasha, Oklahoma, as is also Mrs. Linn, who was born, reared and educated in the State of Virginia.

Will Linn owes his primary education to the public schools of Calloway County, Kentucky, after leaving which he enrolled as a student at the University of Kentucky, and the Murray Male and Female Institute, at Murray. At the State University he was not satisfied with a single course, but took thorough preparation in the literary, medical and law departments, and was graduated in 1895 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Possessing a collegiate training, great energy, and a keen and analytical mind, it is not strange that he should succeed in his calling. His first practice was at Murray, Kentucky, from whence he went to Paducah, that state, and in 1905 came to Oklahoma and took up his residence at Chickasha, which has since been his home.

He soon demonstrated his ability in several well-conducted litigated interests and from that time enjoyed a liberal clientage, his cases being prepared with great thoroughness and care and his arguments being clear, forceful and convincing. Thus he attracted favorable attention to himself, and in 1907, during the campaign incidental to statehood, became campaign manager of the Democratic Party in Grady County. Subsequently, when statehood was granted, Mr. Linn was made secretary of the State Elective Board, a capacity in which he served until September, 1910, when he resigned to accept the judgeship of the Superior Court of Grady County. In November, 1914, he was elected judge of the Fifteenth Judicial District Court, comprising the counties of Grady and Caddo, for the term of four years from January 1, 1915. His decisions in his judicial capacity have been a full embodiment of the law applicable to the litigated points and have been entirely free from judicial bias, and his career on the bench has but strengthened his position in the confidence of the people.

He was made a member of the Supreme Court, Division No. 5, on January 15, 1916. Judge Linn is a member of the Grady County Bar Association and the Oklahoma State Bar Association. He is interested in fraternal matters, and is popular with his fellow-members in the local lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World, the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Loyal Order of Moose.

Judge Linn was married in 1912 to Miss Lena Brock, daughter of J. H. Brock, of Chickasha. The family home is at No. 1028 South Fifth Street.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma - Joseph B. Thoburn - Submitted by Dale Donlon)

Hodge Bailey

In 1914, when the voters of Grady County sought material to fill efficiently and creditably the office of sheriff, they looked toward a farm near Rush Springs, where they found Hodge Bailey, who until this time had not been the incumbent of any important public position. He had, however, both as merchant and agriculturist, demonstrated the possession of qualities which justified his promotion to the responsible office to which he was called, and in which, during his present short incumbency, he has fully vindicated the faith placed in him.

Sheriff Bailey is a native of the Cracker State, born in 1871, a son of J. Hodge and K. P. (Crossley) Bailey. His father, who in early manhood had been a Georgia blacksmith, moved to Saint Jo, Montague County, Texas, where he engaged in farming and continued therein during the remaining years of his life, dying several years ago. Hodge Bailey has two brothers: T. J., who is a ranchman at Corona, New Mexico; and J. M., who is engaged in merchandising at Rush Springs, Oklahoma.

Hodge Bailey received his education in the public schools of Montague County, Texas, whence he was taken when still a small child, and was brought up to agricultural pursuits. On attaining his majority, he embarked on his own career as a fanner, and this continued to be his sole occupation until he entered the mercantile business at Rush Springs, Oklahoma.

In 1901 his mother was awarded a homestead by the United States Government, at the time of the Kiowa and Comanche country was opened to settlement, and on this claim, with his own land adjoining, Mr. Bailey has since resided. He has been particularly successful in the development of a handsome farm, with modern improvements of every kind, and including large and handsome buildings. He has specialized in the growing of feed and the breeding of hogs, and his farm is sub-irrigated, so that the years of short rainfall have not brought him a crop failure. As a progressive and up-to-date agriculturist, he has always favored the most modern methods and appliances, and few men have contributed encouragement to agricultural progress in greater degree.

Mr. Bailey was married September 24, 1891, at Saint Jo, Texas, to Miss Mary Bell Wade. To this union there have been born two children: Joseph Eldon, aged twenty-two years, who has completed a common school education and a course in the Chickasha Business College, and who is now assisting his father in operating the home farm; and Elmer Wade, aged fourteen years, who is a student in the Chickasha High School.

As before related, Mr. Bailey was elected sheriff of Grady County in 1914, and took up the duties of that office in January, 1915. Thus far he has conducted the office on a conservative and business like basis, fearing no element and seeking to follow out faithfully the teaching of his official oath. He is a member of the local lodge of the Woodmen of the World and of the Anti-Horse Thief Association, of which he was treasurer for several years. His office is in the courthouse. (A Standard History of Oklahoma - Joseph B. Thoburn - Submitted by Dale Donlon)


He whose name initiates this article has been engaged in the successful practice of his profession at Chickasha, the judicial center of Brady County, since 1899, and is consistently to be designated as one of the pioneer lawyers of this section of the state, where he has appeared in much important litigation in the various courts, has gained high prestige in his profession and has been specially prominent and influential in public affairs, especially in the councils of the democratic party, the Oklahoma State Central Committee of which he is serving as chairman at the time of this writing, this preferment having been conferred upon him in the spring of 1915. Mr. Melton is a member of the representative law firm of Bond, Melton & Melton, which controls a large and important practice and maintains its offices at 409-11 First National Bank Building, in the City of Chickasha.

At Jefferson, the county seat of Marion County, Texas, Alger Melton was born on the 10th of October, 1874, and he is a son of Washington P. and Lucy (Trammell) Melton. Washington P. Melton, a scion of a sterling old Southern family, was born and reared in the State of Alabama and though he was a mere boy at the inception of the Civil war his youthful loyalty did not long permit him to remain unresponsive to the call of the Confederacy for volunteers to defend its cause, and when but sixteen years he on listed in a Alabama regiment, with which he served as a faithful and valiant young soldier of the Confederacy during the entire period of the war, though during the last two years he was detailed to special service as a courier with the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the distinguished and loved commander in chief of the gallant troops of the South. Mr. Melton was with General Lee's weary and jaded army at the time of the final surrender at Appomattox.

After the close of the war Washington P. Melton continued his residence in his native state until 1869, when he immigrated to Texas, where he encountered his full quota of experience in frontier life and where he eventually became a prominent and successful representative of the live-stock industry, with which he continued his active identification until about the year 1900, when he retired from the active labors that has so long marked his career. He was a man of superior intellectual power and much business ability, was a stalwart in the camp of the democratic party and perpetuated the more pleasing memories of his youthful military career by retaining affiliation with the United Confederate Veterans. He died April 16, 1915, while visiting his sons, at Chickasha, Oklahoma, and his age at the time of his demise was seventy years. His loved and devoted wife passed to eternal rest in 1905.

Alger Melton is indebted to the schools of his native state for his early educational discipline and there he prepared himself for his chosen profession by taking a special course in law and by study under private preceptors. In 1899 he was admitted to the bar of the Lone Star State but he came forthwith to Oklahoma Territory and established his residence in the ambitious little village of Chickasha, the present judicial center of Grady County. For a year thereafter he was the incumbent of clerk and general assistant in the office of the law firm of Davidson & Riddle, and he then, in 1900, entered into a partnership alliance with Reford Bond, under the firm name of Bond & Melton. This professional association has been continued during the intervening years and in 1909 Mr. Melton's younger brother, Adrian, was admitted to the firm, the title of which has since been Bond, Melton & Melton. In point of consecutive years of practice, as well as in the volume and importance of its law business, this well known firm now takes unmistakable precedence over all others in Grady County, and Mr. Melton has long been known as a trial lawyer of special versatility and resourcefulness and as a counselor thoroughly fortified in the science of jurisprudence, of which he has continued a close and appreciative student, the extensive law library of the firm being one of the best in this part of the state.

In 1900, at the time of the incorporation of Chickasha as a city, Mr. Melton was elected city attorney, and as such he was largely instrumental in framing the basic ordinances and incidental laws of the new municipality.

Mr. Melton has been a dominating force in connection with the councils and campaign maneuvers of the democratic party in Oklahoma and incidental to the primary election in1914 he had charge of the campaign of the Hon. Mr. Williams, the present governor of the state. His special facility and discrimination in the directing and controlling of political forces led to his election to the office of chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee of Oklahoma in 1915.

Mr. Melton is actively identified with the Oklahoma State Bar Association and the Grady County Bar Association, of which latter organization he was elected president for the current year of 1914015. He was the second incumbent of the office of exalted ruler of Chickasha Lodge, No. 755, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he is a charter member, and he is a charter member also, as well as a director, of the Chickasha Country Club. His attractive and modern residence, owned by him, as at the corner of Twentieth and Georgia Streets.
In the year 1909 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Melton to Miss Cora Hamilton, daughter of M. a. Hamilton, a representative citizen of Chickasha, and the one child of this union is a daughter, Ruth. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, 1916, transcribed by Jan Grant)


The State of Oklahoma has been signally fortunate in enlisting on the bench of its Supreme Court the services of lawyers and jurists of high personal and professional standing, and as an associate justice of this tribunal, as well as a representative member of the bar of this vigorous young commonwealth, Judge Riddle merits definite recognition in this history, as does he also by reason of his prominence as a loyal and progressive citizen of the state.

Judge Riddle was born in Moore County, Tennessee, I July, 1870, and is a son of Martin V. and Theresa (Tucker) Riddle, both likewise natives of Tennessee, where the father still maintains his home, having celebrated in 1914 his seventy-seventh birthday anniversary, his wife, who was a daughter of a prominent and honored physician of Tennessee, having passed to the life eternal in January, 1911. Martin V. Riddle is a man of strong character and symmetrical intellectuality, many years of his active life having been devoted to effective service as a teacher in the schools of his native state, where he commands the unqualified esteem of all who know him.

He whose name introduces this review acquired his early education under the able direction of his father, supplemented this by attending for two years Maple College, in Tennessee, after which he entered the Holbrook Normal College, at Lebanon, Ohio, where he completed a higher academic course and in a preliminary way fortified himself for the technical study which was soon to engross his attention. In the office of Samuel A. Billings, a representative member of the bar of Lynchburg, Tennessee, he carefully prosecuted the reading of law under the most auspicious conditions, and in January, 1894, he was admitted to the bar of his native state. Convinced that in the progressive West were offered splendid opportunities of advancement and success in the profession of his choice, Judge Riddle came forthwith to Oklahoma as now constituted, and made settlement at Chickasha, Indian Territory, this thriving city being now the capital or judicial center of Grady County. There he engaged in the active general practice of his profession, in which his ability and earnest application soon gained to him precedence and high reputation as a versatile trial lawyer and well equipped counselor. He became one of the leading members of the bar of that section of the territory and was retained in nearly all of the important and intricate cases presented in the various territorial courts, his practice having become one of extensive and important order long before the organization of the State of Oklahoma. At Chickasha he continued his successful professional endeavors until April, 1914, when he was appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, to fill out the unexpired term of Chief Justice Hayes, this term ending in January, 1915. While thus serving, and that with marked ability, on the bench of the Supreme Court, Judge Riddle has continued his residence at Chickasha, and it may consistently be said that he is one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens who have been specially influential in the civic and material development and up building of that city. Since 1904 Judge Riddle has been eligible for practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, before which tribunal he has presented a number of important cases. He is an appreciative member of the American Bar Association and an influential member of the Oklahoma State Bar Association and the Grady County Bar Association, of which latter he was president in 1912.

In politics Judge Riddle is a staunch and effective exponent of the principles of the democratic party, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. At Chickasha he is affiliated with Washita Valley Lodge, No. 143, Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor, and with the lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows ad the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In the year 1896was solemnized the marriage of Judge Riddle to Miss Letitia Cloud, daughter of Isaac and Lockie Cloud, of Gainesville, Texas. Mr. Cloud was one of the prominent representatives of the great cattle industry under the old regime of the open range and his operations, of large ramifications, extended also into Indian Territory. He still maintains his residence in the Lone Star State, his wife being deceased. Judge and Mfrs. Riddle have one daughter, Frances Alee Riddle, who was born in 1900 and who has shown herself to be a true daughter of the great West, especially in her skill as an equestrienne. Her fine horsemanship gained for her the blue ribbon at the Oklahoma State Fair in 1914. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph B. Thoburn, 1916, transcribed by Jan Grant)

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